Relevancy of Jesus Christ

John 20:31
but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.ESV.

A little more than two thousand years ago, a baby was born that would change human history. He grew up and started a movement without writing a book, running for political office,  leading an army, nor cornering the economic markets. He was born into an unpopular ethnic group, surrounded himself with people from all strata of society, and was controversial with his working peers. Yet today this man is the central figure of an international religion that integrates all nationalities, sexes, races, social, and political groups.

He still appears on magazine covers, books are still being written about him, and his story continues to be translated into multiple languages. His impact into the lives of people living today is an ongoing witness for unbelievers. Eventually you either acknowledge him or deny him in your life. You can only ignore him for so long.

For if HE is the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, King of Kings and Lords of Lords of heaven and earth, and the Savior of all humanity, what does that mean for you and me? How would truly knowing that change your life? Your purpose? Your future? Your family? Your relationships? Your work?

When you see atheists research material to prove Him an imposter and then reach the conclusion He is who He claims to be, and when you read books by the saints of yesterday and the impact walking in the Spirit demonstrated then as it does now, you can only receive assurances that there is more to this Man-God that even the Bible explains.

So when you remove the commercialism of Christmas, the pageantry of the holidays, and the false illusion of Santa Claus, you come to realize with gratitude the awesome and graceful act of benevolence from a God who cares so much to become one of us. For if humanity was worth nothing more but the value of a rat or a dog or a horse, would they be worth redeeming?

He became one of us so we can become one of His.

So let’s celebrate Him for the reason of the season.

Merry Christmas to you and your family and friends!

 

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

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Christmas: God Invades the Human Sphere

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us” I John 1:1-2 ESV.

jesus 21

What type of person would…
…empty themselves from the universe’s highest privileges to share life with the lowliest derelicts?
…remove themselves from a sure future into a situation where the risk of failure hangs heavy on one’s shoulders?
…walk away from eternal bliss into human depravity?

How about someone who cares?

He surrendered his rights, privileges, and eternal home by walking through heaven’s looking glass into our human dimension.

As a Man-God he experienced birth, hunger, and filled diapers as a baby. He learned to walk, run, and jump as a youth. He was educated in the Jewish culture, shared family chores with his siblings, and grew in stature/wisdom with God and his neighbors.

He studied the Scriptures. Even debated with the religious academia scholars as a 12 year old.

As the family eldest, he most likely ran the family carpentry business after his step-dad died.

He attended Jewish weddings, funerals, and Sabbath services in the synagogue.

Near the end of his life, he also learned first-hand about pain and suffering. He witnessed the cruelty of people harming people for personal gain. He personally saw the injustice around him. Every human experience you and I share, he experienced.

jesus 20His name is Jesus.

Christmas is not about a baby. It is not about exchanging gifts. It is not even a birthday party. Christmas is our reminder that Jesus Christ invaded our world, restored His claim on Earth, and included us to share in His domain now and forevermore.

Please don’t get caught up in the commercial trappings of Christmas. Instead let Jesus be the center and reason for the season.

And with that…Merry Christmas!!

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage your Friends…Share Today’s Message!

Christmas: Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh

“And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11 ESV.

wise 1

God’s purpose is most often recognized and accomplished through people. Take the Biblical narrative of the Magi in search of the new king at his birth.

These Eastern religious leaders knew from their own prophesies that when certain events took place, a child would be born whom the world will one day receive as their king.

This event took place when Jesus was born to a newly married, young Jewish couple, Joseph & Mary.

When the Magi finally completed their journey in search of the newborn, they arrived approximately zero to two years after the birth of Jesus. They found the family residing in a house and not the manger where Jesus was born.

As a gift to the newborn king, they presented him with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The gifts accomplished a twofold purpose.

One, it gave recognition that the child was special. Gold was the royal gift given to kings; frankincense recognized the priestly divinity of a person; and myrrh pictured the future embalmed savior of the world. All these expensive gifts foretold the child’s destiny.

Secondly, God knew that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus would need to flee Jerusalem because of King Herod’s perverted decree to kill all the young under two years of age. So He made the arrangement giving Joseph the necessary resources to pay for their travel. The family now could easily finance their trip to Egypt and await King Herod’s demise. In fact, exchanging the frankincense and myrrh for cash probably help establish their new home and business in Nazareth upon their return.

God has a way to workout events before we realize there is a need. He blesses us through the events and circumstances we face each day so that His purpose will ultimately be accomplished. Most often these blessing come via people. And the people God works through may not even be of the same faith, nationality, or race. We witness that with the Magi.

Remember, Christmas is not about the gifts. It is simply man’s limited attempt to recognize the world’s greatest Giver. The Triune God. And wise people still seek Him today!

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage your Friends…Share Today’s Message!

Christmas: Celebrating the Arrival of The King

“Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2 ESV.

king 1

Non-Jewish religious leaders from the east came looking for the new King. (Tradition always seems to show three. However the Bible says wise men without ever mentioning the number.) Their own teaching prophesied the coming of a new baby who would one day rule the world. When they arrived to Jerusalem looking for the child, the local ruler asked the Jewish leaders where the Messiah was to be born. They replied quoting the prophecy written approximately 700 year earlier from the Book of Micah that he would come from Bethlehem. Therefore, these wise men traveled to the village and found the child with mother in a home. There they showered the child with gifts in honor and respect to the new king.

Again at the end of Jesus’ life, Pontius Pilate referred to Jesus as a King and committed him to the capital punishment of death on the cross. His legal crime written for the public to witness was “King of the Jews.”

Jesus Christ was born and initially died for being a king. As he taught and Scripture reveals, he came to be King, his servants didn’t recognize him, and he left with the expectation of one day returning to fully establish his kingdom.

Christmas is a time to celebrate the arrival of humanity’s king. The Man-God. The first born of a new humanity. He is no longer a baby but a fully, empowered living eternal being who qualified to be our King. For many of us living in a democratic republic, the concept of having a king is ambiguous at best. However, when one acknowledges Jesus as Lord, one begins to fully live-out the relationship of a king with his servants. To live under a benevolent ruler makes many hunger for his return. For the many in today’s world who are upset with the current governmental leaders who fall far short from their promises, hope and a better world is around the corner.

Therefore, let’s celebrate this Christmas with joy and gratitude for all to see that we await the return of our King. The hope of mankind.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage your Friends…Share Today’s Message!

Christmas: Sacrificial Love

“For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” Colossians 1:19 ESV.

love 31

If God became man, what would he look like? A mighty warrior with the largest army in the world? A famous person with Hollywood looks? A politician with charm and charisma? A king with vast wealth and resources?

Would you believe he already came in the flesh as the man Jesus Christ of Nazareth? Josephus, a Jewish, non-believer historian during Christ’s life wrote in his book that this man did mighty works. We are told in the Book of Colossians that the fullness of God dwelt with Jesus Christ. We read as his followers described him “a light in the world.” Other eye-witness accounts responded by emphasizing the miracles he performed that included feeding multitudes and healing deadly diseases. Others spoke about him resurrecting the dead. Then others showcased his ability to teach with moral parables that left the audience spellbound.

What the majority of writers emphasized was the unique heart of the man. He knew the evilness found in human nature. Yet he also knew the power of God to transform.

He touched the lives of the most undesirables of his time. He loved to celebrate life demonstrated through the parties and social events he attended. He surrounded himself with men and women who were not of noble birth or educationally valued. Instead he chose to surround himself with a smorgasbord of people who probably would never associate with one another if it wasn’t because of him.

Like most people who make a difference in life, his story didn’t fully bloom until after his death. There were over 500 witnesses who gave the testimony that they seen him alive after his crucifixion. He appeared and disappeared among his students and followers. His own brothers disbelieved him prior to his resurrection but changed their tune afterwards. His life was more than just being a moral teacher. The people who knew him came to the realization that he was and is who he claimed to be: The Messiah.

His life is a model of what love looks like in human form. He didn’t self-promote himself. He simply denied himself to serve His Father God. He practiced and taught what sacrificial love looks like. From washing his disciples feet to dying an undeserving death, Jesus Christ showed us what God looks like in the flesh. This Christmas is simply our feeble attempt to remember what his life means to you and me. Let’s celebrate it with him, through him, and for him. Besides, isn’t he the reason for the season?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage your Friends…Share Today’s Message!

Christmas: The License To Express God’s Love

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” I John 4:8 ESV.

love 33

It is easy to criticize the dark-side of Christmas. Who among us doesn’t get upset over the commercialization of the season. The busyness of this time of year that keeps people apart before bringing them together again. The multitude of people on the road and in stores driven to acquire their next toy or gift without mercy toward others. The battle to keep within a budget that always seems to become extended no matter how hard we try. The list can keep on going. Instead though, let’s focus on the good side of Christmas.
Isn’t it a joy to watch the Spirit of God work this time of year?

In our Saturday morning prayer group, one man shared his story while shopping at Wal-Mart. He went into the store to purchase blankets that he planned to pass-out to the homeless this year. Based on the advertisement he saw and the limited monetary resources at his disposal, he figured he could purchase at least ten blankets. However upon visiting the department where the blankets where kept, he quickly realized he may have to purchase less than he planned for. The items that he wanted were already sold out.

Explaining his dilemma to a nearby attendant, she told him to wait as she would check the backroom for more of the blankets that were on sale. After several minutes she returned and explain that there were a few more blankets available and also mentioned to him that if he would stop by the manager’s office he could receive a $10 gift card to help with his purchase. So off he went to the manager’s office. Upon entering and repeating his story, the manager reached down and did not give him a $10 gift card but a $25 card. So taking the additional money back to the blanket department, he grabbed a few more blankets. Upon the checkout he found out that several the blankets were selling for less than the advertised price. Therefore, he went back and grabbed a few more.

Long story short, he went in to purchase 10 blankets. He left acquiring 35 better quality blankets. All he could do throughout the entire process is laugh as he witnessed how the Spirit worked to change people’s hearts and events. He called it his early Christmas present to witness the hand of God at work in his life.

This is the season to witness how people express God’s love through their sharing and giving. It’s as though Christmas gives people the license to express God’s love. If that be the case, then let’s join them to always celebrate and express God’s love today, tomorrow, and yes even Christmas day.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage your Friends…Share Today’s Message!

Christmas Extraordinary

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35 ESV

xmas 3

How did you celebrate Christmas?

Dinner with family and friends? Did you exchange gifts? What if next year we started a new tradition?

What if we gave only gifts to those who cannot give us anything in return? I don’t mean just one item through the Angel Tree program or through your local church community outreach program. Imagine a Christmas where instead of exchanging gifts with family or friends, you combined your family resources and gave to the underprivileged? Homeless, single parents? Orphanage, or to whomever your heart is burden.

What if you start a new family tradition? You have a whole year to discuss it over with your family and plan it out. You may be pleasantly surprised how the Spirit of love, joy, and peace comes through in blessing others with your resources.

Just another radical idea that glorifies God, blesses others, and strengthens oneself in Kingdom reality.

Think about it.

 

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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